Celebrating the centenary of women legislators’ membership in the Arkansas General Assembly, Stateswomen shines a light on the women who have served as some of the state’s central decision makers. Drawing on documentary research and oral histories, Lindsley Armstrong Smith and Stephen A. Smith present lively, concise biographies for the nearly 150 women legislators who have served in the general assembly to date, chronicling their personal histories, volunteer work and social activism, and legislative victories. In a probing introduction, the authors examine the neglected role of women in Arkansas political history alongside the “long history of resistance to full citizenship rights for women in Arkansas”—demonstrating that political representation is essential for improving opportunities in the wider society.
The first comprehensive study dedicated to these trailblazing Arkansas legislators, Stateswomen will surely inspire history buffs, community-minded citizens, and political hopefuls alike.
About the Author
Lindsley Armstrong Smith earned a JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law and served as a research assistant professor of communication at the university. From 2005 to 2010, she was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives.
Stephen A. Smith is professor emeritus of communication at the University of Arkansas. He was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1971 to 1974, chief of staff to the Arkansas attorney general, and executive assistant to Governor Bill Clinton. He is the author or editor of nine books on topics ranging from communication technologies to the First Amendment.
“In Stateswomen, Lindsley Armstrong Smith and Stephen A. Smith preserve a critical part of Arkansas political history that time would have surely forgotten had it not been for their efforts. This book is a gift to the people of this state—past, present, and future.” —Angie Maxwell, author of The Long Southern Strategy: How Chasing White Voters in The South Changed American Politics
“Thoroughly researched and purposefully written, Stateswomen adds considerably to our knowledge of the women who have represented their communities in the General Assembly. A remarkable history that will be indispensable for those who want to know more about the 146 women who have served in the Arkansas legislature over the past century.” —Tom Dillard, author of Statesmen, Scoundrels, and Eccentrics: A Gallery of Amazing Arkansans
“Stateswomen, a tribute to the hundredth anniversary of women’s entry into the Arkansas legislature, stands in a class of its own. A welcome addition to the literature on Arkansas women in public life.” —Frances Mitchell Ross, author of United States District Courts and Judges of Arkansas, 1836–1960